I challenge anyone to find an experience that can top the one I had with Help, Learn & Discover. I can’t remember a single moment on this trip when I wasn’t smiling or laughing constantly, and looking back, I have nothing but fond memories. The 3 aspects of the trip encompassed absolutely everything I could have dreamed of (plus more!), and I know I’ll remember these experiences for the rest of my life. Without sounding too cliché, you truly will learn so much about yourself on this trip, and you will return with a new perspective on life.
The Help portion was incredible. It was truly humbling to work alongside the community in Jama to build homes for the most deserving families you will ever meet. The locals were so grateful for everything that we did, and knowing that you have a made a difference in their lives is an indescribable feeling.
The Learn portion of this trip—the medical rotations—was so cool. Not only will you be scrubbing into surgeries and literally watching operations over the surgeons’ shoulders, but you will also interact with patients in the Emergency Room, partake in medical hands-on learning sessions, and all throughout you will have medical tutors teaching and explaining things to you. During this portion of the trip, you see what the medical profession is really about. Before HLD, I thought I was interested in medicine. But after participating in this portion of the trip, I now know without a doubt that this is the field that I love!
The final component of this trip, the Discover portion, was one you will never forget. Ecuador is absolutely spectacular; from the rainforest to the coast to the volcanoes and mountains, this country truly has it all. It’s hard to believe how much of Ecuador you get to experience on this trip, but somehow HLD manages it!
On top of the trip itself, you will meet people who will change your life. This is one of my favourite aspects of this trip. Everyone you meet—from the program directors, to the tour guides, to the volunteers alongside you, to the leaders, and everyone in between—will impact your life. I started my 28 days in Ecuador with a group of strangers, but left Ecuador with a new family.
I can definitely vouch for HLD and all the experiences that come along with it. Go on this trip, and I promise you won’t regret it!